Telling stories with imagination.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Metta likes... Touring

At the end of May we completed our first tour. As is so often the way of these things, it was right in the middle of all the exciting action that we had the least time to write about it. So here's my rather belated tour blog. Suffice to say, we don't just like touring, we LOVE touring.

As the piece that we were touring was our site-specific performance of The Man with the Flower in his Mouth, I feel that we got a heightened tour experience. We not only had to recreate our show in 10 different locations, but we had to build new performance spaces in each one too.

Restaging the play in a range of different, non-theatrical spaces as we worked our way around the cafes of the South West provided an interesting challenge for the cast and made sure that it stayed fresh. We got to put together 10 different versions of the show, with the layout and location of each cafe subtly changing the way it felt and looked each time. Getting to take it to so may places allowed us to explore the nuances of the play in a way couldn't have if we're stayed in one place for a month.

In London can be easy to get lost amongst then many different things that are going on - and there are always so many different things going on. I appreciated the feeling that there was space for us th be seen and heard. Indeed, I believe that in Honiton we were probably the only cultural event happening that evening, and it showed not only in our sold out audience, but in their appreciation of the show.

We got to access the audience of 10 different places, and looking around at other types of theatre on around, I felt that often we were offering something a little bit different. That feeling of genuinely contributing to a local cultural scene. And the fact that this really was something a little out of the ordinary was evidenced by one audience member who thanked me and provided me with a list of local studios theatres "So we'd not have to do it in a cafe next time"

It was a really valuable chance for us to take our work to a wider number of people, and t hear what they had to say about it. We got to know the play better as we solved the unique set of problems that each space threw up, and as we did so we got to better understand what it might mean to each new place.

Of course, whilst all of the above is great, what Metta really liked about touring were all the cooked breakfasts...

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